lori & steven mcclure

helping you write a better love story



A Holiday Prayer for Those Who Hurt

For some people, the holidays are a magical time of year. These are the folks who decorate early, mainline pumpkin spice lattes, and finish their Christmas shopping before you’re done scraping cranberry sauce off the floor. Is that you? If so, be happy in your Christmas bliss.

Christmas, prayer, hope

But maybe this isn’t you. At all.

You’re tired.

Worn out.



If so, you’re not alone.

For some, the holidays are another reminder there isn’t enough to go around. For others, the Christmas season is a harbinger of painful memories, disappointment, and loss.

So, we speak to you today. We speak to the ones carrying extra emotional baggage through November, December, and even well into January. We only want to tell you one thing.

It’s okay.

It’s okay to be sad and lonely and disappointed. It’s okay to cry while others laugh. Allow yourself to sit with the hurt during this season instead of trying to push it away every moment of the day. Because all that pushing? It’s exhausting.

Let yourself mourn for what you’ve lost or never had.

Allow the pain to come. Allow yourself to grieve for lost loved ones or empty bank accounts or broken families. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to recognize you’ve lost something everyone else seems to have.

Most importantly, remember you’re not the only one. Don’t let Instagram pics and Facebook posts fool you. Behind the smiles, people all around you bear the weight of disappointment, too.

Next, while it’s good to pause and reflect and grieve, we also encourage you to take a second to look at what you do have. If you can’t find anything else to be thankful for, there’s one thing we all have in common: life. If you’re breathing, start there.

While you might feel alone, we can unite across distance and time through prayer. So, we’d like to offer this holiday prayer for you to whisper on your hard days, and we’d also like to offer our prayers to you. If you want, we’ll pray for you. Leave a comment or message here (or use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) letting us know you’d like us to remember you in prayer, and we promise we will.

You are not alone, my friend.

You are never alone.

And if you keep moving, it will get better.

advent, hope, prayer

Holiday Prayer for those Who Suffer


I come before you to acknowledge my thanks for the life I’ve been given. You are the giver of life, and I thank you for my life even though I feel burdened by pain and my days feel long and empty.

I come before you admitting my brokenness. I come before you to lay my sadness, hurt, pain, and disappointment at your feet.

I ask for hope to replace hopelessness, provision to replace deficit, comfort to replace sorrow, companionship to replace loneliness.

In my sorrow, I ask you to open my eyes to others who hurt, so I can make a difference in the life of someone else. Help me to remember the truth that we all need each other.

I thank you for your peace and presence, and I ask you to remind me of the promise and potential life offers even when I feel like I’ve lost it all.

Show me your grace as I seek to remember your goodness through my pain. Show me small reminders of your love for me as I seek to set aside my worries and trust in you for all things.

I give myself to you completely. Help me when I can’t help myself.

In the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I pray,


Oh, and Here’s Why …

Lori and I wrote a book. If you’re reading this, you probably already knew that. In the week since it was published (as an ebook for now – softcover is in the works), she and I have talked a good bit about how to get the word out, how to increase sales, and how to heighten awareness – the whole bit. If you’re a part of our social media universe, then you’ve no doubt seen our attempts in this vein. We’ve tweeted and posted, and this weekend we even took some new pictures for our Facebook page. If being a gorgeous couple translates to book sales, our next stop is the New York Times.

lori & steven mcclure

What we haven’t really talked about – outwardly anyway –  is why we wrote the book in the first place. For me. that’s really the best part. Over the course of 17 years, if we’ve learned even one thing (and hopefully, if you read the book, you’ll believe that we actually learned 15 things), it’s that life together can be really, really, hard. We believe the things that matter most sometimes require the most work.

In short, as Lori put it, love is a fight. But it’s worth it.

What’s more, we truly believe there’s strength to be gained from sharing the ups and downs of our journeys one with another. Christians today love to talk about where we’re going but are all too often afraid to talk about where we’ve been. We celebrate the overcoming, but shy away from an honest look at what we’ve had to come through. All of this celebrate-the-victory-and-ignore-the-battle stuff can have an alienating and isolating effect. We begin to despair. Life can be hard, and with that realization sometimes comes hopelessness – especially when you believe you’re the only one who is struggling.

Trust me. You’re not.

We’d love for you to buy our book and read it. man, that would be awesome. But if you never do, that’s fine, too. Know this. Love is hard, but it’s worth it. And you’re not alone …

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